April 21, 2009
Ideal Sleep Range From 7 To 8 Hours Per Night?

Are you getting an ideal amount of sleep to avoid insulin-resistant diabetes?

Quebec City, April 21, 2009—Researchers at Université Laval's Faculty of Medicine have found that people who sleep too much or not enough are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance. The risk is 2˝ times higher for people who sleep less than 7 hours or more than 8 hours a night. The findings were published recently on the website of the journal Sleep Medicine.

The researchers arrived at this conclusion after analyzing the life habits of 276 subjects over a 6-year period. They determined that over this timespan, approximately 20% of those with long and short sleep duration developed type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance versus only 7% among subjects who were average duration sleepers. Even after taking into account the effect attributable to differences in body mass among the subjects, the risk of diabetes and insulin resistance was still twice as high among those with longer and shorter sleep duration than average sleepers.

Sleep amount correlates with the incidence of many diseases.

The researchers also point out that diabetes is not the only risk associated with sleep duration. A growing number of studies have shed light on a similar relationship between sleep and obesity, cardiovascular disease, and overall mortality. The authors observe that among adults, between 7 and 8 hours of nighttime sleep appears to be the optimum duration to protect against common diseases and premature death.

Modern life is cutting in to the hours people sleep.

However, it seems that fewer and fewer people sleep the optimum number of hours. A survey conducted in 1960 showed that American adults slept an average of 8 to 8.9 hours a night. By 1995, that average had dropped to 7 hours. A study conducted in 2004 by the National Center for Health Statistics found that one-third of adults aged 30 to 64 slept less than 6 hours a night.

Are you getting enough sleep? Anyone get too much? If I was following the lesson of this report I wouldn't be up so late writing blog posts.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 April 21 11:51 PM  Aging Lifestyle Studies

Anonymous said at April 22, 2009 12:46 PM:

I can't help thinking a consistent cast of more than eight hours a night itself would indicate something's wrong to most people. It would to me; I only do that when I'm already feeling bad.

momochan said at April 23, 2009 2:17 PM:

I feel that I do very well with 8 1/2 hours of sleep, but now this article has me worried that may be too much. I was under the impression that 9 hours was the borderline.
But the main question is indeed the old chicken or egg -- does sleep excess/deficit cause unhealthiness, or does unhealthiness cause sleep excess/deficit?

Randall Parker said at April 23, 2009 6:43 PM:

momochan, I do not know the answer to your question. But I will keep an eye out for clues.

emerson999 said at April 24, 2009 4:05 PM:

I have to side with the correlation/causation concern. Sleeping way too much, or too little, are both pretty good signs of either physical or mental illness.

Bork said at May 1, 2009 10:31 AM:

I notice that I feel better with between 6 and 8 hours of sleep per night. Typically I sleep either too little (4-5 hours) or too much, perhaps for over 10 hours. But I feel more awake and alert and am physically stronger if I am able to sleep 7 or so hours for a couple nights in a row.

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